“I guess porn isn’t the right word,” Wiley replied. “Porn is something recorded intentionally, something that the actors hope others will pay to watch. This, while indeed pornographic, is something else entirely." He wiggled his eyebrows at me. “I’ve worked out a program to watch people through the webcams on their TVs, their tablets, their laptops. It’s really quite simple, actually. You just have to –”

“You watched Brendee through her webcam?”

He nodded, and blinked innocently at me. “The one on her laptop. Many times. And I recorded it.” He pushed a button on the remote and all the other squares disappeared, leaving just one, which enlarged and moved into the middle of the screen. “For your amusement, Nate.” He pushed the button again. The video started and Brendee appeared in the square.

I could see almost all of her, from the middle of her bare thighs on up. She was wearing an old, sheer white t-shirt, with a couple of holes in it. It wasn’t a lace teddy, but it still left nothing to the imagination. She was lying in bed on her side, facing the computer, her head propped up on her elbow. She leaned closer to the screen, and her beautiful pixie face was framed there for a minute: her sparkly blue eyes, her tiny pink mouth; the blonde hair, damp, framing it all in curly ringlets. She was so cute, I felt a little poetic myself.

She hit a few keys, then leaned back again and closed her eyes. After a moment, she opened them again and watched the screen, and I noted that her pupils were now large, dilated with pleasure. She nodded her head – she was apparently listening to music, watching some favorite band.

“No sound?” I asked Wiley doubtfully.

“I haven’t quite worked that part out yet,” he said. “But who needs sound? Sound is overrated. Just watch.”

Brendee raised her hand, then brought it down, then waited, eyes again closed, anticipating some moment in the song. The moment came, and I was amazed to see Brendee shudder, as if from some unseen lover’s touch. She opened her eyes and drew her knees up to her chest, and I could just make out the curve of her fine, naked ass. She sang along soundlessly with the band, again raised her arm above her head. When she brought it down this time, she simultaneously threw her head back and straightened out her legs, the very picture of ecstasy. Then she curled up and opened her eyes, and sang along with the band again.

I glanced over at Wiley, who watched Brendee’s silent performance with a somewhat clinical eye. I thought that all he needed was a lab coat and a clipboard to complete his aura of detachment. “How long does this go on?” I asked.

Wiley looked at the bottom of the screen. “Three thirty-five. That’s how long the song lasts. Although sometimes she puts it on repeat. Then she might writhe around on the bed for ten or fifteen minutes. That’s about it, though.”

I asked the next obvious question. “What’s she watching?”

Wiley blinked blankly, looked at the now dark square in the middle of the TV, then looked back at me again. “I haven’t the slightest, Nate.”

“You’re kidding.”

Wiley shook his head. “No. I have no idea what she’s watching. Some music video, I’d guess, because she’s not only listening and singing along, she’s also watching it, when she’s not –”

“You have no idea what it is, though?”

Wiley shrugged. “Some band that obviously gets her motor running.”

“And it’s always the same thing?”

“I’d say so, Nate. There’s not that much to it, compared to some of the stuff I’ve seen. By themselves, with their boyfriends, with their girlfriends . . . the TV’s just there on the wall, or sitting on the desk; just another piece of furniture. They forget about that eye. Or they just leave some other all-seeing device open nearby, and forget about it, while they commence to do the most entertaining things. She’s the only one I’ve ever seen that I actually know, but I think I’ve seen this one chick at the grocery store. She likes to sit and surf naked, you see, sometimes for hours, and I –”

“But you don’t know what they’re watching?” I asked again.

“Who cares what they’re watching, for Christ’s sake? We’re watching them!”

“You’re an evil man, Wiley.” I said.

He shrugged. “I’m a product of my times, Nate, and it’s not like I do it every day. Just when I’m bored on a Friday night sometimes. I’m what they used to call a hacker, and a bored hacker is a dangerous man. People should be aware of their devices.” He nodded at the tablet hooked up to the television, and at the laptop sitting on the desk beside it, and to the TV itself. I noticed that there was a strip of masking tape across the webcams on all of them. “I’m not crashing their devices, scrambling their TVs, melting their phones, although I could. But what’s the fun in that?”

“You’re also an idiot,” I told him, and slapped him on the back of the head. “Why haven’t you found out what she’s watching? Don’t you want to know what turns her on like that? Wouldn’t you like to turn her on like that?” I said, and then immediately regretted it.

“I haven’t thought about it, but I can see that you have.” Wiley grinned. “My only interest in Brendee is her mind, Nate. The rest of her . . . that’s all yours. Do you think you can get her over here to tutor me? If I flunk out of math and don’t graduate, my Mama might take all these toys away from me.” He hit a button on the remote and the screen went black. “And then you’d never get to watch Brendee . . . dance again.”

“I think I can talk her into it,” I told him. “Here’s what I want, Wiley. I’ll talk Brendee into tutoring you, so you get to graduate. I’ll lie to her, convince her that you’re a nice guy –”

“You don’t think I’m a nice guy?” he said with a little fake pout.

“I think you’re a heartless, filthy, voyeuristic son of a bitch, Wiley,” I said and grinned at him.

He shrugged. “A fair assessment. It’s the electronics, my son. They’ve rotted my brains. But like I say, I don’t do it all the time. I’d rather watch them in person. But I wrote the program, so to test it out, I started to –”

“I’ll convince Brendee that you’re a nice guy, and you’ll be a nice guy to her –”

“Scout’s honor,” he said. “I’ll be a perfect gentlemen to her.”

“If I get her to come over here and teach you, I want you to do something for me.”

“Your wish is my command.”

I nodded at the dark television. “Find out what she’s watching.”


Excerpts from other books in this series:
This Carnival of Strange
Wiley Royce
Generally Recognized As Safe
Wiley Royce Versus The Martians

Wiley Royce

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